Fun Facts: History of the Printing Press

Printing Press

Today we take a look at a few interesting facts about the history of the printing press to remind ourselves of just how pivotal a role it played in shaping the world as we know it today:

Guttenberg Refined the Printing Press (But Did Not Invent It!)

Johannes Guttenberg is widely known as the father of the printing press, based on the fact that he brought out a revolutionary version thereof in the 1400s. However, it was most definitely not the first printing press to see the light of day. In fact, the history of the printing press dates back all the way to the third century, when it evolved from woodblock printing that was originally used for textile prints.

The Diamond Sutra is the World’s Oldest Surviving Printed Book

The Diamond Sutra is a book that was created in around 868 AD and lay forgotten in a cave near Dunhuang, China until it was rediscovered in 907. This extraordinary text is kept and exhibited at the British Library in London. Similar Korean and Japanese manuscripts have been found. These were all created using wooden or metal blocks.

The Buddhist Faith Grew Tremendously Due to the Printed Word

A Chinese peasant, Bi (Pi) Sheng made history in the 11th century when he developed a version of movable type. This made it possible for Buddhist and Taoist texts to be printed in large volumes en distributed easily. As such, this early movable-type press played an important role in the growth of Buddhism in China.

There you have it – three super interesting facts about the printing press and how it came to be. Keep an eye out for our next post, in which we will share three further fun facts that will give you a new appreciation for this seemingly humble piece of equipment. In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Asset Print team if you would like to learn more about our printing services and rates for 2020.


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